Sleep

How to Fall Back to Sleep

Learn how to quickly return to your slumber before your alarm goes off.

Posted Dec 29, 2020

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Finding yourself wide awake hours before your alarm is set to go off can be a frustrating situation to find yourself in. Below are a couple of practices you can explore to support you in finding sleep for the second time that night.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This relaxation technique incorporates your body to support you in relaxing and falling back asleep.

Begin by taking a few deep breaths. As you lie in bed, focus on your feet and all the muscles in your feet. On your next breath in, tighten all the muscles in your feet. On your next breath out, relax all the muscles in your feet. Then bring your awareness to your lower legs and all the muscles in your lower legs. On your next breath in, tighten all the muscles in your lower legs. On your next breath out, relax all those muscles.

Continue moving slowly up your body, tightening and relaxing all the muscle groups in your body until you reach your head and face. After tightening and relaxing all the muscles in your head and face to your inhale and exhale, tighten all the muscles in your body on your next inhale. On your exhale, release all the muscles in your body to complete the exercise.

This exercise is helpful because it supports relaxing your body as well as giving your mind something to focus on. By focusing on the muscles in your body, your mind may be less likely to wander into thoughts or ruminations that may keep you up at night.

Happy Place Meditation

This meditation takes you to a place within you where you feel calm and relaxed.

For this meditation, begin by getting comfortable in your bed or in the place where you will be sleeping. Once you are comfortable, focus on your breath and bring awareness to your breathing.

Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to how your lungs and diaphragm expand on your inhale and contract with your exhale.

After you have had a few deep breaths like this, begin to imagine that there is a path in front of you. As you walk along this path, glance down and notice what kind of a path you are walking on. Notice what your surroundings are as you walk along this path. You are walking to a place where you feel calm and relaxed.

This place may be a place you have been before or a place from your imagination. As you walk along the path, you find that your path ends in this place where you feel peace. As you spend time in this place, just notice how this place relaxes you. Listen to any sounds, feel the air on your skin, explore the tastes and smells of this place. This is your happy place, and you can return to this place at any time.

This visualization meditation is helpful for sleep because it can quiet any thoughts keeping you awake and allows your conscious mind to slowly relax prepping you for sleep.

By using these two mindfulness exercises after waking up in the middle of the night, you may be able to return to your slumber more easily.

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